The city of Thomson ended the year very close to budget, City Administrator Don Powers said Jan. 12.
The city council approved some transfers within major funds to close out the 2011 books.
“Essentially we are break even or very close for the year in all funds except gas, which had a positive balance at year’s end,” Powers wrote in his report to the council. “Great budget control by most all supervisors. Problem spots have been addressed and will be monitored close in 2012,” he wrote.
As an example, Powers said the police department had more overtime pay because of turnover but has contained costs for prisoner meals.
Mayor Ken Usry said he was pleased by the report.
“There’s some room for improvement,” Powers said.
“I also give all the glory to Tammy Haire for doing all this,” Powers said of the detailed report. Haire is the city’s finance director.
In other business, Powers reminded the council that the Pine Hills Neighborhood group will meet at 6:30 p.m. today on the second floor of the government center.
That meeting is for all neighborhood residents. City Inspector Peter Ruddick, Police Chief Joe Nelson and Fire Chief Rick Sewell are expected to participate, along with Usry, Powers and a council member.
Usry said a similar initiative needs to advance in the Strawberry Hill area.
“We’ve been successful over in Pine Hill and I think it’s good for the area, and I think it would be good for Strawberry Hill,” Usry said.
Powers reported that the joint city-county water and sewer commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first floor meeting room. Usry said the commission is unlikely to act on revamping rates at the time, though research will continue.
Powers reported that he and wastewater supervisor Lamar Fain will be out of their offices Wednesday, visiting wastewater treatment plants along with Marty Fain, the city’s engineer from the firm of Carter and Sloope.
“These plants have equipment in operation that is similar to what we’ll be taking bids on in Phase 1 of the wastewater plant renovation,” Powers wrote.
Powers said engineering and surveying work has begun on the 2011 Community Development Block Grant. In that fourth $800,000 grant cycle, work transitions from Pitts Street onto Bussey Avenue and south to Forrest Clary Street.
The project includes $538,162 for infrastructure and $321,838 for housing. He said each phase of the work renovates six houses.
The work in the Pitts Street neighborhood also includes street paving and water and sewer lines.
“A lot of the work we’re doing in the neighborhood you can’t see because it’s under the ground, but it improves the neighborhood,” Usry said.
The council also reappointed Lucy Bell as indigent defense counsel.
Council member Jaye Jones, District 1, also is an attorney. He said he had talked with Bell and confirmed that she is willing to serve again.
Usry explained that anyone who is charged in city court and cannot afford an attorney is entitled to representation at the city’s expense.
The council also reappointed Bob Knox as city court judge.
Nelson said the police department is very pleased with the handling of city court.
The city administrator also reported that the runway overlay project at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport is almost complete. He said only a final application of striping remains to be done.
Kathryn “Kit” Doupe’ was appointed to the library board, to replace Sharon Wall.
Usry presented city employee Scott Huff with a certificate of appreciation for 20 years of service.
Huff works for the water department.